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No injuries reported in two Parkersburg fires

Firefighters from the Parkersburg Fire Department assemble by a residence near 17th and Briant streets that caught fire late Tuesday afternoon. Smoke billowed from the two-story structure. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

PARKERSBURG — Two fires at vacant structures impacted different areas of Parkersburg on Tuesday.

At approximately 4:12 p.m., the Parkersburg Fire Department and ambulance services were dispatched to the scene of a fire and arrived three minutes later at a vacant four-unit apartment complex at 2028 17th St., near City Park.

“It has been vacant for some time, actually a few years, but there have been people staying there,” Fire Chief Jason Matthews said.

No one was injured in the fire, which Matthews said originated in one of the downstairs apartment units and spread upstairs. Firefighters had responded to the same location for a previous fire on Dec. 4, which helped them to quickly identify the hot spots where the fire spread this time around.

“When we arrived, we found heavy smoke conditions, but we didn’t have a visual from the outside,” Matthews said.

A vacant block building at 802 Virginia Ave., Parkersburg, was engulfed by flames early Tuesday morning and later torn down via emergency demolition. (Photo Provided)

Three water lines were utilized to put out the blaze. It took roughly an hour and a half to fully extinguish.

The specific cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The story was similar more than half a day earlier at 802 Virginia Ave., when a vacant, workshop-like block building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived around 2 a.m. Tuesday, Matthews said.

The door and windows were missing from the building before the fire, he said. Firefighters had recently examined the building, which is known to be frequented by vagrants, as a potential fire hazard.

A live power line fell on one of the department’s trucks during the response, Matthews said. No one was injured, and firefighters pumped water from another truck until MonPower was able to turn the line off.

The building was torn down by emergency demolition after City Engineer Adam Stout determined it was a safety hazard.

The cause of that fire also remains under investigation, Matthews said.

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